There are a lot of online tennis coaching platforms these days that claim to be the best thing since sliced bread.
It is easy to get caught up in all the noise and end up learning tennis from someone that can’t tell a forehand from their left hand!
However, there are some online tennis coaching services that do exactly what they say on the tin and deliver real value to players all over the world.
One of the best instructional tennis platforms out there is Essential Tennis. They operate in 152 countries and their popular Youtube channel has over 44 million views!
They have been teaching tennis since 2009 so are pretty experienced in the field.
Their motto is “passionate instruction for passionate tennis players so they can improve at the game that they love” (essentialtennis.com) so you should be in safe hands with these guys.
But, is Essential Tennis really that genuine? Well, that’s what we are here to find out!
What is Essential Tennis?
Essential Tennis is an online tennis coaching platform that offers tips and advice to help you improve your tennis.
They use a variety of different mediums to do this, including their Youtube channel, website, podcast, blog and even an academy.
They offer down to earth, useful and practical tennis tips to players at a range of playing levels.
Most budding tennis players would have come across Essential Tennis’s Youtube videos when looking for advice on how to pick the right grip for your backhand, improve your mental toughness or how to practice more effectively.
They also have a very impressive collection of professionally shot, high quality videos of the best players in the world practicing.
Their Roger Federer ultimate slow motion compilation is one of the most viewed on Youtube with over 1.7 million hits!
The Essential Tennis platform provides a user friendly service that is primarily aimed at junior, beginner and intermediate club players.
Whilst advanced players may find some benefit from consuming their content, their delivery and style is informal, conversational and personable.
Their Head Pro Ian Westermann fronts the majority of their videos and courses. He is the head of the operation and a very knowledgeable and experienced tennis coach.
He realised that there were a lot of struggling tennis players that wanted to find quick tips as well as long term solutions to their problems online.
So, he created the Essential Tennis Youtube channel to spread his knowledge to a wider audience.
Ian works in conjunction with Megan Garlington and Kevin Garlington on the tennis side of things.
Both are tennis teaching professionals and help Ian develop the content of the courses and videos.
Ian’s brother James films the videos and produces the content alongside James Bellanca who specialises in web development.
What They Teach
Essential Tennis teaches all aspects of the game. From technique, to tactics, to managing expectations on court, the team at Essential Tennis have got you covered.
One of the best things about how Essential Tennis delivers their content, is how varied it can be.
One video may be about match play and real time tactics on court, whilst the next cover equipment advice.
They also create free tennis lessons and Ian himself has a popular “Ask Ian” series, where he answers viewer questions and offers specific advice.
Despite this variation in content, there is actually a good level of depth in each of these areas.
This is because the team has been working hard for over a decade now to deliver thoughtful and valuable tennis instruction to the masses.
They teach from a very practical point of view.
A lot of their video titles are centred around real questions that recreational players are asking, or even just thinking in their head.
Their content is down to earth and relatable, which is a big part of how they have become so popular!
Whilst they will certainly try to grab your attention, they are always informative and very rarely will a video’s content stray away from its title.
What They Offer
Essential Tennis offers coaching, tips and advice to tennis players in a variety of ways. Here is a more in depth look at what they offer.
Their Youtube channel offers a wealth of free, in depth coaching that forms the backbone of their successful platform.
It is well organised and easy to navigate, thanks to the intuitive playlists and layout.
In terms of the videos themselves, you can expect tangible, well structured advice that really hits the nail on the head time after time.
There is no waffling around the subject with Essential Tennis, as they do a great job of setting the scene, telling the story and delivering the bottom line.
This is refreshing in the online tennis coaching space, as some channels will click bait you into watching a video and then not offer the value you would expect.
What’s more, their content is varied and produced to a high level of quality.
It is easy to see why they use dedicated videographers and content developers, as their videos are always shot from different angles and use a range of filming techniques.
They also like to bring in their interactive screen that helps illustrate their points more clearly.
Therefore, the Essential Tennis Youtube channel is one of their biggest assets and is well worth checking out!
Essential Tennis offers 20 individual courses on their website for customers to choose from.
These take a closer look at more specific areas of the game that a player may want to zone in on.
These range from staying injury free, to singles tactics, to mastering the mental side of the game.
The courses range from around $70 to $400 in price, meaning there is something for everyone.
The level of content is of course more detailed and specific than you will find on their Youtube channel, so you get what you pay for.
There are a heap of testimonials on the website too, so they clearly know what they’re doing!
The Essential Tennis Academy is an alternative to their individual courses, as it offers comprehensive coaching modules, VIP coaching films and access to a Facebook community of like minded tennis players.
The Academy is more of an ongoing and personal offering from Essential Tennis.
It allows players to access continued support from the pros and bounce ideas and experiences off of other tennis enthusiasts.
They actually offer a 7 day free trial, which is a great way to allow prospective customers access to the content without having to fully commit.
The Essential Tennis blog offers more of a personal, in depth look at the thoughts and learnings from their tennis pros over the years.
These long form articles and great if you are a student of the game that wants to learn more about the inner workings of the sport.
These are also very handy if you want to up your game whilst on the move or at work!
With over 300 episodes and counting, the Essential Tennis podcasts gives a great insight into how players and coaches think.
These are great for listening to in the car and have featured a wide variety of guests from different fields.
From PhD professors to actual professional players, you can learn a great deal about the game from listening to the useful insights that the Essential Tennis podcast shares.
In Person Coaching
Whilst the majority of Essential Tennis’s content is delivered online, they do offer in person lessons, VIP experiences, clinics and camps from time to time.
These are a great chance to learn from the pros in the flesh and get up close and personal to them.
The majority of these take place in the U.S. and are detailed in the coaching section of the Essential Tennis website.
So, you might be wondering whether Essential Tennis is actually as good as we are making out… Well, I can tell you that the short answer is yes!
They are genuine, insightful and deliver great content to their audience.
Since the majority of their coaching advice is offered for free on their Youtube channel, players can benefit from a lot of tips, tricks and lessons without shelling out a dime.
Their content is varied, well produced and practical, meaning it is better than a lot of other online coaches you may come across!
Ultimately, Essential Tennis is a well put together, all encompassing online tennis coaching platform that offers passionate coaching, to passionate tennis players!